Bhuta Bhavana das Remembers Srila Prabhupada

Prabhupada Memories

Interview 01

Bhuta Bhavana: When Prabhupada heard we had come he said to Brahmananda, “Send them up immediately.” So Hari Kripa and I went up to his room. There we saw Prabhupada in all his grandeur, sitting cross-legged, with a huge smile on his face as if someone had just told him a joke. He said, “Four hundred years ago your ancestors were taken away from here as slaves.” He made his eyes real big and said, “But, ah, just see, you have returned as masters.” I thought, “How poetic! Who could say something like that?” Generally in the black community if you refer to slavery, it’s not a very jovial thing, but Prabhupada made it wonderful. We had returned to Africa in Krishna consciousness. Then he told Brahmananda to give us prasadam, and we left to honor it.

For a program on the Mambolaya nation-wide TV Show, we set up a three-foot-by-four-foot picture of the Panchatattva. The host said, “Who is this personality in the middle?” Prabhupada said, “This is Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. He is God.” The host said, “This cannot be God. This is a man.” Prabhupada quickly fired back at him, “Who do you think you are to say He is not God? He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Who are you?” The host got so upset that he shook and dropped his pencil. He probably thought that nobody would handle him like that on a national TV show. But Prabhupada was like a lion, “He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead.”

Brahmananda wanted me to take care of the Radha-Krishna Deities that a life member had loaned us. They stood on a platform in the temple room and every day we offered Them flowers. Once, after this offering, I had to move the Deities to properly clean off the flowers. I moved Krishna farther to one side and Radharani farther to the other side, cleaned the altar and took out the offered flowers. Then Bhagavat yelled to me, “Brahmananda says you’ve got to get in the van right now! We’ve got to go to the festival!” So I left without moving the Deities back to Their original places. When we came back, Prabhupada went into the temple room and a little while later Bhagavat came to get me. He said, “Prabhupada wants to see you. He wants to know why the Deities are a mile apart.” I went to Prabhupada and he said, “Why are the Deities like this? Radha and Krishna are never separated. Why are They separated like that?” I tried to make an excuse. I said, “Well, Srila Prabhupada, Brahmananda told me I had to go…” But before I could finish the sentence Prabhupada said, “So does that mean They should be thrown in the street?” I was so devastated I couldn’t say anything. I was in shock. Prabhupada said, “Should They be thrown in the street?” It was as if time stood still. I couldn’t speak. Prabhupada wasn’t finding fault with me but was thinking of Radha and Krishna’s pleasure. However, I took it as my great fault. Then suddenly Prabhupada smiled broadly as if to say, “You fool. All right.” He said, “Radha and Krishna are never separated. Put Them together and do it nicely.” I did that and that was the end of it. I thought that I was in a hole that I would never be able to get out of, but Prabhupada relieved me just like that.

To view the entire unedited video go to Memories 47 - Twenty Disciples Remembering SP

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